SCBA Writes to CJI Seeking ‘Urgent Audience’ to Discuss Construction of Lawyers’ Chambers, Other Issues

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has written to Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud seeking “an urgent audience” to discuss various issues, including the construction of lawyers’ chambers at ITO.

The lawyers’ body also sought discussion on the elevation of Supreme Court lawyers to various high courts as judges and their expeditious and regular designation.

In its letter, the SCBA urged the CJI to issue directions to immediately start work on the 1.33-acre plot to construct a maximum number of chambers for lawyers.

Despite a huge area being allotted to the Supreme Court, only a small portion has been utilised for the construction of a new chamber block for advocates practising before the Supreme Court, it said.

The bar body also sought construction of a meeting room for its executive committee, “proper lunch room, additional ladies bar room, additional library/lounge”.

“We are hopeful that what has not been given to the SCBA during the previous dispensation, will now be given to the SCBA and all the demands of the SCBA will be addressed by your goodself in your remaining long tenure as CJI,” SCBA president Vikas Singh said in the latter.

It said that out of a total area of 1.33 acres allotted to the Supreme Court by the Union government near ITO, only 0.5 acre has been earmarked for lawyers’ chambers.

“With only 0.5 acre, we will be able to make only around 200-250 chambers. If we get the whole land, we can get around 600-700 chambers constructed. However, we would still not be able to exhaust the list of people who are waiting allotment for last 20 years and this is notwithstanding the fact that since 2018, no new list has been made as no applications have been called for allotment of chambers. In the meantime, more than 1,000 lawyers have become eligible to get chambers and are waiting the notice inviting applications for allotment of chambers,” the letter stated.

The Supreme Court had on March 23 rejected the SCBA’s plea to allot the entire tract of land measuring 1.33 acres, allotted by the Union government for housing the Supreme Court archives and converting it into a chamber block for lawyers, observing that issues pertaining to the change of land use should be addressed on the administrative side.

The top court was hearing a plea by the SCBA to convert the land, allotted to the top court, for the construction of chambers for lawyers.

The top court had witnessed a heated exchange of words between the CJI and SCBA president Singh while hearing the plea.

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